When Ricochet was just a young pup, her owner Judy Fridono hoped the dog might one day become a service dog and help people. But Ricochet had other plans, at least for the first part. She flunked out of service dog training, but she went on to help millions of people around the world learn how to trust, how to love, and how to surf.
According to Fridono, the golden retriever seemed naturally suited to life as a service dog. She was great with people, especially kids, and she had plenty of energy. But birds were her weakness. She just couldn't seem to stop chasing them. And that's not a good attribute for a service dog that needs to focus on the person she's helping.
Fridono says she was initially disappointed when Ricochet flunked out of service dog school. But it wasn't long before the pup let her true skills shine through. At just 8 weeks old, Ricochet clambered on to a boogie board that had been left in a children's pool, demonstrating her unique talent for balance.
Soon, Ricochet was making headlines as the beach-loving dog who could hang ten on a surfboard. But she wasn't finished showing off her special talents yet.
"One day at the beach, she jumped on a surfboard with a 14-year-old boy who had spinal cord injuries," Fridono told the Daily Mail. "It was that moment that her life purpose to surf with people who are disabled was realized. She's just such an inspiration to everyone — she's got such a strong connection to people, and we see such improvements in the people who she surfs with."
Ricochet now surfs daily with children and adults with special needs. She specializes in helping military veterans with PTSD and children with autism by connecting with them in ways that no one else can.
Check out this video of this special pup in action. (Just be sure you have a good tissue supply standing by.)